The Chiefs are about a week away from giving us our first look at their retooled roster, an overhauled unit that features a new quarterback in Alex Smith, new number one overall draft pick in offensive lineman Eric Fisher and a new head coach in Andy Reid.
The Kansas City Star
Heres a look at the Chiefs preseason opener, plus their three exhibition contests that follow:
CHIEFS at NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
When: 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 9
Why you should watch: Well, first off, its the Chiefs preseason opener. Isnt that reason enough to tune in? No? You need more? How about this: Former Mizzou star Chase Daniel spent his first several years in the league with the Saints, and now backs up Alex Smith here in Kansas City. Were looking forward to seeing him get at least a couple of series against his old teammates in the Big Easy.
SAN FRANCISCO 49ers at CHIEFS
When: 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 16
Why you should watch: Similar storyline as above, with a couple of added twists. First off, this one features Smith, the Chiefs new quarterback, playing against the team that benched him following a head injury in favor of Collin Kaepernick, who then proceeded to lead the Niners to the Super Bowl (and hasten Smiths exit from the Bay Area). Second, this is the Chiefs home preseason opener. Thats right: football returns to Arrowhead on this night!
CHIEFS at PITTSBURGH STEELERS
When: 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 24
Why you should watch: This game will be followed by teams first roster paredowns, from 90 players down to 75, so a lot of guys will be playing for their jobs. Sure, you might have a hard time remembering some of their names, but football doesnt get any more real than that. Our main intrigue regarding this game, however, is getting a look at former Chiefs head coach Todd Haley, who was fired by Clark Hunt during the 2011 season and replaced by Romeo Crennel. Will Haley, now Mike Tomlins offensive coordinator with the Steelers, be getting along with Ben Roethlisberger? Will he wear a clean hat? Tune in and find out.
GREEN BAY PACKERS at CHIEFS
When: 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 29
Why you should watch: New general manager John Dorsey cut his front-office teeth during a long career with the Packers. And lest we forget, new Chiefs coach Andy Reid became a master of coaxing the best out of quarterbacks (Brett Favre) under Mike Holmgren at Lambeau Field. Theres also the added fascination of final roster decisions: Guys who stand out in this one could secure a spot on special teams; those who dont will be receiving their pink slips shortly thereafter as rosters get trimmed again. Once the clock runs out in this game, the regular-season opener will be just around the corner (at Jacksonville on Sept. 8).